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DRIVING

Norwegians can’t even change a car tyre: report

An embarrassingly large number of Norwegians seem incapable of even changing a tyre, according to the latest statistics from the country's NAF road rescue service.

Norwegians can't even change a car tyre: report
Jan Ivar Engebretsen - NAF
 
Last month NAF's vans were called out to rescue no fewer than 1,144 car owners with nothing worse than a punctured tyre. 
 
"Puncture is rising as the cause of call-outs on both Norwegian and foreign roads," Jan Ivar Engebretsen, NAF's press officer said in a statement. 
 
"It is not necessarily the case that everyone is self-reliant when it comes to changing wheels. Many people are unsure of how to handle a jack or a wheel wrench."
 
Of the 1144 car owners who called the service due to a puncture, 584 did so because they weren't carrying a spare tyre, and 521 simply did not know how to change a tyre. 
 
Puncture is now the third most common reason for call-outs after engine failure and run-down batteries. 

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TRANSPORT

Why the cost of toll roads in Norway’s major cities could increase

The cost of using roads in Norway's biggest cities could increase due to the governemnt changing the rules for the funding it gives local authorities to spend on transport and tolls.

Why the cost of toll roads in Norway’s major cities could increase

Norway’s government has changed an agreement on local transport funding introduced under the previous administration, public broadcaster NRK reports.   

As a result, money earmarked for reducing tolls or freezing prices in Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, and Trondheim can now be spent elsewhere. 

The government has changed the existing agreement on transport funding, which was introduced due to toll roads being a heated topic during the 2019 municipal election, to allow local authorities to increase the cost of using roads to fund other transport improvements. 

“The change means that local authorities will have greater freedom to adjust toll rates. But it must be assessed in each individual case whether local changes to the toll system will require a new submission to the Storting,” the Ministry of Transport and Communications told NRK. 

Essentially the change means that the central government contribution to urban growth planning in cities used for keeping toll road prices down has been axed. 

This means that Norway’s big cities will have around 3.7 billion collectively over the next seven years that had been allocated to reduce tolls that can now be spent on other transport projects. 

However, local councils will have to agree on how the money should be spent and whether they want to increase tolls or not. 

“If local governing authorities want to change the use of the grant funds, it must be dealt with locally politically,” the Ministry of Transport and Communications said. 

Toll prices could go up from next year if local authorities choose to raise prices, according to the ministry. Newspaper Bergens Tidende reported in June that toll rates in Bergen would return to 2020 levels. In Oslo, local politicians have signalled that they are unwilling to decrease the cost of using toll roads. 

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